Category Archives: author blog

6 EXCEPTIONALLY USEFUL BLOG SITES

If you want to find information on anything concerning being an author or just writing in general, there are some outstanding and informative blogs out there to help with anything and everything you might need to know, including all the things you didn’t realize you needed to know.  So here are a few of them for you to check out.

The Log-Line:  Can You Pitch Your ENTIRE Story in ONE Sentence?

11 Ideas to Help You Write the Positively Perfect Blog Post

The Pros and Cons of Amazon KDP Select Exclusivity

10 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book

A Writer’s Guide to Point of View

The Creative Penn

 

Have a great September – and Happy Reading!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Advertisements

WHY WRITE A PREQUEL?

A prequel is a work that forms part of a back-story to the preceding work.  Simply stated, it sets the stage for the existing novels and usually comes after the original work was written.

If you have followed my blog or perhaps seen my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or various other sites then you know I have authored a succession of books called the Dragomeir Series, an urban fantasy/sci-fi saga of dragons and their riders, along with some rather unusual creatures and captivating characters.

Some readers might ask, “Why write a prequel?”  I had originally planned to finish this series and then push on to other projects but began having second thoughts as I put a close on the third book in the Dragomeir Series, “Egg of the Amphitere.” One of the main characters known as Queen Mother needed to be expounded upon to give a better understanding and proper closure as to who she was and why.  I realized there was a fascinating back-story to be told, and the prequel was born.  The story, albeit told by Tanis Theatra (one of the dragon riders), was more about the life and times of Katherine Pendragon (Queen Mother) than anything else.

The only way to pursue that was to go back where it essentially started and tell her story as it began on the Provinces.  So, the prequel series, “Daughter of the Dark Lord” was created to give credence to Queen Mother’s life, why she was so passionate about family, and to clarify her dedication to stopping the Dark Lord from invading earth.  Last, but not least, it was to express how she eventually planned to liberate the Denizen people of the Provinces.  While telling her story, it would also give the reader a bird’s eye view into Tanis Theatra’s beginnings, and of course the amazing dragons.  To accomplish this there will also be one more installment to the original Dragomeir Series, entitled “Back from Oblivion.”  This book describes Queen Mother’s ultimate objective which is exclusively detailed in the “Daughter of the Dark Lord” prequel series.  There are two books available in this series now, and a third is currently being written.

All together it should delineate the complete story as first introduced by Tanis Theatra and recanted by me, Solitaire Parke.  Check out my website at

www.solitaireparke.com

to read sample chapters, discover exciting extras and purchase books at multiple locations in a variety of formats. I hope you enjoy!

Here is a question for my readers –  Do you enjoy reading a prequel to a novel?

Have you written a prequel? I’d love to hear about your writing experience.

Solitaire

Forthcoming Novel – Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project

Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project is finished.  The last six months have been chaotic, as the holidays and life in general seemed to hijack my writing time.   But The Alberra Project has progressed into editing mode and will be available in eBook and paperback very soon. The first book, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, has been out for a while now and is available at a variety of locations – all of which can be reached from my website www.solitaireparke.com.

The Daughter of the Dark Lord books are prequels to my previously published Dragomeir Series –  a must read for anyone who loves dragons and other wonderful creatures. I’ve always been intrigued by dragons.  They are magnificent creatures who interact in the most unique ways with their riders and fellow beings and have characteristics that are remarkably like humans at times.  They’re quite brilliant and good-natured, contrary to all the bad press they’ve been given over the centuries.

Part Two continues Katherine Pendragon’s journey as she comes of age on the Provinces of Hell, a dark and often unnerving place in which to grow up.  She unwittingly learns the truth about her father, a reality she has long dreaded.  With her beloved dragon by her side, Katherine faces her biggest challenge yet as she struggles with the knowledge of her father and an uncertain future, both for herself and those she would free from this vile world.

Stay tuned for the forthcoming endeavors of Katherine Pendragon in

Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project.

My other books are available, along with “Extras,” at –

www.solitaireparke.com

 Happy reading!

Solitaire

Have an Attitude of Gratitude – It Will Change Your Life

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks, to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.

 It Heightens Your Quality of Life

A practice of gratitude raises your “happiness set-point” so you can remain at a higher level of happiness regardless of outside circumstances.  Research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a stronger immune system, and have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude.  To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.

Notice and Appreciate Each Day’s Gifts

We tend to take for granted the good things in our lives.  Imagine losing some of the things that you take for granted, such as your home, your ability to see or hear, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you comfort. Then imagine getting each of these things back, one by one, and consider how grateful you would be for each and every one. Start finding joy in the small things instead of the bigger things, like getting the promotion, having a comfortable savings, getting married, or having children, and so on – before allowing yourself to feel gratitude and joy.  In the face of hard times ask yourself: “What’s good about this?”, “What can I learn from this?”, and “How can I benefit from this?”

Incorporate Gratitude into your life every day

If we increase our conscious awareness of gratitude it may require that we train ourselves to think differently. This can be done by incorporating some simple exercises into our lives. For example, you might begin to keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals can take many forms, but one way of doing this is to simply write down one thing that you are grateful for each day.It can be something that happened that day, something you felt, or someone in your life who has made a positive impact on you.

You can also speak your expressions of gratitude. You can engage someone in a daily discussion about what you are grateful for. This might take the form of questions like, “What was the best part of your day today?”, or “What is one thing that made you feel really happy today?” This kind of discussion not only helps to increase your own awareness of all that you have to be grateful for, but can also promote positive connection and experiences in your relationship with whomever you choose to have these exchanges. Focus on the positive things, which in turn help the stressors feel less significant, and help you feel happier. Basically, gratitude promotes gratitude.

You can train yourself to notice things that you are thankful for. They can be small things: maybe you notice that your bed is very comfortable, that your lunch is tasty, that a good friend said something nice to you, etc. It is easy to take these kinds of experiences for granted and not direct our conscious awareness to them. But training yourself to notice these kinds of things and really feel grateful for them can help increase your own experience of happiness.

Be Thankful –

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

33 Fiction Writing Tips

Writing fiction can be complex and multifaceted.  There are countless details to consider throughout the process.  There’s the initial brainstorming, the outlining, the countless hours of research, the actual writing, and the inevitable revising.  As if that wasn’t enough, you still have the editing process, a monumental task of its own.  All this to create what you hope will be an amazing work of fiction that readers will fall in love with.  Not much to ask, right?

In doing this research, I’ve gathered an immeasurable amount of ideas concerning fiction writing.  These writing tips, from countless sources, might be helpful to other writers tackling a novel by offering different viewpoints and by providing food for the creative process.

Hopefully, the tips below will help make writing that novel a little easier.

Writing Tips

  1. Read more fiction than you write.
  2. Don’t lock yourself into one genre (in reading or writing). Even if you have a favorite genre, step outside of it occasionally.
  3. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
  4. Dissect and analyze stories you love from books, movies, and television to find out what works in storytelling and what doesn’t.
  5. Don’t write for the market. Tell the story that’s in your heart. You can make an outline before, during, or after you finish your rough draft. It will provide you with a road map, which is a powerful tool to have at your disposal.
  6. Some of the best fiction comes from real life. Jot down stories that interest you whether you hear them from a friend or read them in a news article.
  7. Real life is also a great source of inspiration for characters. Look around at your friends, family, and coworkers. Magnify and mix the strongest aspects of their personalities, and you’re on your way to crafting a cast of believable characters.
  8. Make your characters real through details rather than lengthy head-to-toe physical descriptions.
  9. The most realistic and relatable characters are flawed. Find something good about your villain and something dark in your hero’s past.
  10. Avoid telling readers too much about the characters. Instead, show the characters’ personalities through their actions and interactions.
  11. Give your characters difficult obstacles to overcome. Make them suffer. That way, when they triumph, it will be even more rewarding.
  12. Cultivate a distinct voice. Your narrator should not sound warm and friendly in the first few chapters and then objective and aloof in later chapters. The voice should be consistent, and its tone should complement the content of your book.
  13. Give careful consideration to the narrative point of view. Is the story best told in first person or third person? If you’re not sure, write a few pages in each narrative point of view to see what works best.
  14. Is your story moving too fast for readers or are they yawning through every paragraph? Are the love scenes too short? Are the fight scenes too long? Do you go into three pages of detail as your characters walk from point A to point B and then fly through an action sequence in a couple of short paragraphs? Pay attention to pacing!
  15. Infuse your story with rich themes to give it a humanistic quality. Examples of themes include sacrifice, redemption, rebirth, life and death, faith, destiny, etc. These are the big shadows that hover over your story.
  16. Make sure you understand that every story needs a beginning, middle, and an end.
  17. Use symbols and imagery to create continuity throughout your story. Think about how the White Rabbit kept popping up when Alice was adventuring through Wonderland or how the color red was used in the film American Beauty. These are subtle details that give your story great power.
  18. Every great story includes transformation. The characters change, the world changes, and hopefully, the reader will change too.
  19. Enrich your main plot with subplots. In real life, there’s a lot happening at once.
  20. There is a difference between a sub-plot and a tangent. Don’t go off on too many tangents.
  21. If you write in a genre, don’t be afraid to blur the lines. A horror story can have funny moments and a thriller can have a bit of romance.
  22. Make sure your setting is vivid and realistic even if you made it up.
  23. If you didn’t make up your setting, then do your best to get to the location and see it for yourself before you finish your manuscript. If that’s not possible, get busy researching.
  24. Give the readers room to think. You don’t have to tell your story in minute detail, including each minute of the plot’s timeline or all of the characters’ thoughts. Provide enough dots, and trust that the reader will be able to connect them when your story makes time jumps.
  25. Let the readers use their imaginations with your story’s descriptions as well. Provide a few choice details and let the readers fill in the rest of the canvas with their own colors.
  26. Don’t focus exclusively on storytelling at the expense of compelling language.
  27. Appeal to readers’ senses. Use descriptive words that engage the readers’ senses of taste, touch, sound, sight, and smell.
  28. Apply poetry techniques to breathe life into your prose. Use alliteration, onomatopoeia, metaphor, and other literary devices to make your sentences sing and dance.
  29. When rewriting, check for the following: plot holes, character inconsistencies, missing scenes, extraneous scenes, accuracy in research, and of course, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  30. As you revise, ask yourself whether every paragraph, sentence, and word is essential to your story. If it’s not, you know where the delete button is.
  31. Before your final revisions and before you send your manuscript out to any agents or editors, find your beta readers: join a writing group, take a fiction workshop, or hire a pro.
  32. Do not send out your rough draft. Go through the revision process at least three times before handing it out to your beta readers. The stronger it is when you bring in editors, the stronger those editors will be able to make it.
  33. Have fun. If you’re not enjoying writing, then maybe it’s not for you. If you’re not enjoying fiction writing, try something else, like poetry, blogging, or screenwriting. Be willing to experiment and you’ll find your way.

Were these writing tips helpful? Got any tips to add? Leave a comment!

Check on the website for my “Dragomeir Series” (for dragon lovers) and various other genres,

    And updates on my latest series – “Daughter of the Dark Lord.”  Interesting EXTRAS available too!

    Solitaire

    www.solitaireparke.com

    The Eternal Amulet of Ele-Amarna

    Excerpt from DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – THE BURNING SKY:

    (Cheron – the true specter of death, Ferryman at The River Styx – speaking to Katherine Pendragon, the daughter of the Dark Lord of the Provinces of Hell)

    “Your father and his loyal demons cannot cross flowing water, and I speak not of the river of death.  Only through me may you cross the Styx.  These lands are not your prison and there are no conventions which bind your fate, but without an army, your father’s curse will be the end of us all.”

    Cheron reached into his robe and pulled out an amulet attached to a golden chain.  Gazing at it for a moment, Cheron’s energy spiked, almost unnoticeably, and then passed.  He handed the piece to Katherine hesitantly, as if he was about to lose something meaningful to him.

    “The most precious gift I can give you is this.  The Eternal Amulet of Ele-Amarna.  It will give you control over Bahn Fahr and the Army of the Dead. “

    The Amulet of Ele-Amarna was an ancient vial, one and one half inches in length, attached to a solid gold chain, which was eighteen inches in length.  The six gold rings surrounding it, would spin in the manner of a combination lock until they lined up, allowing it to open.  Katherine had no knowledge of what would happen once it opened, but she did know that her energy combined with that of the amulet would call up the Army of the Dead, and their subsequent leader, General Bahn Fahr.  The General resided with his army in the Province of Sheol. This might be the only way to defeat her father.

    But the Amulet came with a warning:

    “But beware . . . if the Amulet is destroyed once the Army is called, you will unleash dominion over the living by angry legions of those who cannot be stopped or killed.  Be warned, Ariella.  Hold the Amulet and call the Name of Bahn Fahr at the peril of all you hold dear.”

    Does Katherine resort to using the Amulet, or does she find another way to to thwart the plans of her malevolent father, the Dark Lord, and his army of demons?  The answers can be found in

    DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – THE BURNING SKY

    at my website www.solitaireparke.com, where it can be purchased at numerous locations in a variety of formats.

    I look forward to hearing from my readers.  Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

    Solitaire

     

    DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Creature Feature – Bubalos

    BUBALOS-

    An animal that is similar to what we know as a bison or buffalo; they roamed on the Provinces of Hell and were the main food source for dragons, and also on the menu for the citizens.  They were bulky oversized animals, not terribly intelligent and often cranky, but extremely useful.  Large fields were cultivated outside the Palace, and as the bubalos were procured, pens were built for the massive number of creatures.  They migrated twice a year from the more barren lands of the Provinces to the northwestern edge of Hell proper, where they fed on the grasslands produced during that time of year.  The Dark Lord’s daughter, Katherine, even had bubalos brought in to feed the Hell hounds living within the city.  Being such large creatures, they were often bridled and used for transporting supplies from place to place when needed.   The hide from a bubalos could be tanned and used for various articles of clothing or types of baggage.

    Read more about life on the Provinces in the following book –

    DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – The Burning Sky

    A prequel book to the Dragomeir Series

     Find this book and many more at

    www.solitaireparke.com

    Solitaire

    WHY DO WE LOVE DRAGONS?

    Dragons are magical, mythical winged creatures that we find both thrilling and frightening.  Both adults and younger readers seem to find them equally fantastic.   We’d like to believe that they might have once existed, and they are legendary in almost every culture on the planet, so why not?

    They have traditionally been viewed as perilous, dangerous creatures with magical qualities that laid waste to the countryside and carried off damsels in distress, thereby having to be sought after and conquered. Some authors have written about them with this view in mind – Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, and J. K. Rowling, to name a few.  The fantasy writer, Anne McCaffrey, explored human kinship with dragons, man and animal befriending one another.  Countless children’s books have now brought these fantastic creatures into the next generation to be both feared and loved.

    I have continued with Anne McCaffrey’s affinity of dragon and man in my Dragomeir Series books, and now in the new prequel series, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, and the forthcoming Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project.  (There will definitely be a Part Three!)

    Dragons introduce a much needed magic and adrenaline into our lives – the appeal of being unpredictable and potentially dangerous that emulates our challenges, frustrations and achievements in an exhilarating and exceptional way.  Dragons never play by anyone’s rules.

    Nowadays, dragons are our constant companions in novels, movies and computer games.  They are the most familiar and respected creatures from fantasy and legend. They can give us an emotional reaction of faithful friendship, as well as the opportunity to fly.  Dragons allow us to feel indestructible and open up our imaginations.  They give us wings.

    Solitaire

    www.solitaireparke.com

    What are your favorite dragons?

    6 Ways to Improve Your Writing!

    1.  How often do you use the word “very” in your writing? It is often extremely overused and can make your sentences sound weak.  So check out this site.  It gives you 128 ways to avoid using this word by replacing it with stronger more vibrant ones.

    http://writetodone.com/128-words-to-use-instead-of-very/

     

    1. Need some help with your grammar? Take the following quiz and find out how much you know.

    http://writetodone.com/grammar-tips-for-writers/

     

    1. Book titles, blog headings, or other articles are sometimes difficult to come by. You might need a little help occasionally.  Here are 7 tools to provide that help.

    http://writetodone.com/bestselling-book-titles-2/

    1. Do you love the television show “Game of Thrones” or the books? Here are 5 lessons to be learned from them.

    http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/04/08/writing-game-of-thrones/

    1. Do you know how to research a novel, and when to stop? This article could be helpful.

    http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/01/18/research-a-novel/

     

    1. Tips for finding those eye-catching images for your books, articles, or blogs.

    http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/2015/02/ultimate-guide-to-finding-images-for-book-promotion.html

    Which ones are your favorites?

    If these were helpful to you, please pass them on!

    Visit me at my website – sp@solitaireparke.com

    Solitaire

     

    Latest Book from Solitaire : Prequel to the Dragomeir Series – Part One

    dotdl_book

    DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – THE BURNING SKY

    The first Prequel Book to the Dragomeir Series

    (A  saga of dragons, demons, fierce creatures and dragon riders)

    BEFORE IT ALL BEGAN  . . .

    A daughter born to the cruel tyrant of the Provinces, the Dark Lord

    An incredible child of great skill and abilities

    A long awaited prophecy yet to be fulfilled

    A remarkable and enduring gift – a Dragon egg

    Friends, allies and enemies embroiled in conflict for their lives amidst schemes and unruly allegiances

    Who is this child and how does her life impact the future?

    – THE PREQUEL

    AND THE ENTIRE DRAGOMEIR SERIES

    IS AVAILABLE NOW in multiple formats at the following sites –

    BARNES & NOBLE

    iBOOKSTORE

    KOBO

    LULU

    SMASHWORDS

    SOLITAIREPARKE.COM

    Enjoy the sci-fi/urban fantasy world of Dragomeir!

    Happy Reading.

    Solitaire

    Any questions about the books?  Leave me a comment.

    Save

    Save

    Daily (w)rite

    Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.

    ellisnelson

    children's author

    Ms Toy Whisperer

    I am a writer whom journals about life, family, New England, everything and nothing and whispers of the Holy Spirit.

    H.L.M. Garrison

    Failing better at writing, one try at a time

    James Harrington's Blog of Geek and Writing

    All Things Writing and Geek, in one neat little blog!

    O at the Edges

    Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.

    Storyshucker

    A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

    Chris Gardner

    The joys of self-publishing.

    A Writer's Path

    Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

    Madstoffa's crunchy house!

    Part time actor, aspiring writer of poetry and prose and full-time idiot with a heart.

    Jason K. Lewis - Writer (of sorts)

    Writing is a painful journey- I just started and it hurts already

    idiotprufs

    the blog that made the pope laugh so hard he peed himself.

    Jennifer M Eaton

    Author, Weaver of Tales

    bdhesse

    A writing WordPress.com site

    Shannon A Thompson

    You need the world, and the world needs good people.

    S.A. Mulraney

    Official site of the the YA fantasy, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic paranormal author

    MR. LONG DRAG

    Vape Tips. Vape Reviews. Vape Life.

    T.M. Williams - Novelist blog

    www.theaccidentalwriter.com

    readful things blog

    colourful language, colourful opinions

    D.A. Roberts

    The End is only the Beginning.

    %d bloggers like this: